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Family law: Child discipline in Connecticut

The American Academy of Pediatrics tells parents that spanking isn't a positive form of disciplining a child and suggests it should be avoided. Under family law in Connecticut there are no hard and fast rules about disciplining children. Apart from not using excessive force, however, there are suggestions. Helping children to control their behavior with appropriate tools at various ages may be the key.

Experts say toddlers can't make the connection between a slap and what they've apparently done wrong. Giving them a timeout may be a more appropriate approach. Children from the ages of 3 to 5 need to be told why what they've done in unacceptable. Timeouts may work with them also as a rewards system might when they behave well. Timeouts also seem to work for kids between the ages of 6 and 8 when they begin to realize wrong from right as well as inappropriate actions.

Older kids from 9 to 12 and into their teens will start to learn about natural consequences. This may be the time to take away privileges if the rules aren't followed. No cell phone use, no video games, no going to the mall with friends are some examples. It's important in all stages of child's life to reward them and praise them as well. 

Children are held in the highest regard in the state of Connecticut. They are protected under family law rules and that includes keeping them safe from harm, whether that is at the hand of parents, caretakers or strangers. An attorney may be able to help with the laws that concern children and might be able to answer some of the more confusing aspects of children and the law.

Source:, "Disciplining your Child", Accessed on April 27, 2018

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